Make It Count Blog

Share This Page!


It’s Sunday afternoon, the day after the 2nd Annual Spencer C Duncan Make It Count 5K. For the first time in several weeks, we do not have anything to do that is connected with getting ready for the run. My house is quiet, we are all exhausted, and to be honest, there’s just a hint of sadness that the day is over.

Days like yesterday do not happen without A LOT of people working together. There are so many who pour their hearts and souls into making this Spencer-honoring event what it is. Our family, our friends, our sponsors, every person who registered to participate, complete strangers—everyone plays a part in the success. And when it comes together like it did yesterday, you just have to believe it is something special.

And it wasn’t just special at New Century Air Center. There were runners making it count in Montana, Virginia, China, and Afghanistan. We couldn’t be more thrilled that the mission to Make It Count far exceeds the limits of our metropolitan area.

Back here, just outside the communities of Olathe and Gardner, a combination of red shirts, white shirts, and blue shirts looked almost as beautiful as the flag held up by two of Spencer’s friends in the back of a Chinook as it flew over the crowd. Team Cody, running in honor of PFC Cody Baker (KIA 08.03.2011, Afghanistan), was inspiring in their heartfelt enthusiasm and support for each other. Watching Barbara Ise (widow of Doc Ise, who collapsed at last year’s 5K) cut the ribbon at the dedication of The Ise Station highlighted the integrity and grace of this great family we have come to know and love. And when I was told that our overall race winner was also a veteran, I had a lump in my throat that did not go away the rest of the day. It is absolutely precious to me that veterans are some of the biggest supporters of helping other veterans.

And speaking of veterans, the number of blue shirts yesterday was inspiring. When our planning team decided to honor veterans by making their shirts a different color, we had no idea just how beautiful that would turn out to be. There are many veterans in our circle of friends and our family, and it was a beautiful thing to watch their faces as they proudly wore those blue shirts.

Our volunteers were amazing, as we have come to expect. Those red shirts have become a symbol of great attitudes, helpful spirits, and great pride in the mission of honoring and assisting our nation’s veterans.

And those white shirts with the flags. Beautiful when they were delivered to us in large quantities. They were even more beautiful when they were drenched in the sweat of those who dedicated themselves to giving their best.

Throw in the safety orange color shirts of our medical volunteers and the backdrop of a Blackhawk, several Chinooks, and many heroes in camo, and you have a living canvas of patriotism, commitment, and a dogged determination to make a difference for our veterans. It was a beautiful day.

Many have been asking about race results. The website is listed on your bib. It is We will be posting photos as soon as we can get them loaded. Check back here for more info about pictures, patches, those awesome etched glasses, and an update on the runners in China, Afghanistan, Virginia, and Montana. And, of course, we will keep you posted on how our board decides to distribute the funds from this year’s run. We remain committed to researching respected organizations and discovering ways to best stretch your donations into life-changing moments for our veterans.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your support. We are incredibly moved by you all.


PS—Mark your calendars now for the 3rd Annual Spencer C Duncan Make It Count 5K coming August 2, 2014!

4 comments (Add your own)

1. Betty Wright wrote:
Megan and team, I am so pleased at the turnout and the message you just posted. I was with you all in spirit and heart, but physically was at Ft. Riley watching as SPC Jeremy Unger, Gold Star brother of David Unger say "see you all later" to his wife, who is having their first child in December, his sisters, grandparents, friends and his mother. As I was watching those 100+ men and women march out of that hanger, I was thinking of you and the rest in Gardner, who had probably done the same thing. What you have done since August 6, 2011 is amazing and I plan to be there next year, already marked the calendar! HUGS to all that made that day so special for you! Spencer, you "made it count" in so many ways. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

Sun, August 4, 2013 @ 7:37 PM

2. Carol wrote:
Megan & Dale;
Just a quick opportunity to say thank you. Even though I knew in advance that veterans would have a different colored shirt, being able to stand with my daughter and son-in-law, all three of us in our beautiful blue shirts, was much more powerful and emotional than I anticipated. I heart you all :)

Sun, August 4, 2013 @ 7:47 PM

3. Ben Chlapek wrote:
Thank you so much to all who made this happen! Saw so many friends and fellow veterans. Got to spend time with Mary Nichols and family. Tiger said it was just what he needed and it's "what it's all about." We'll see you next year! God bless.

Sun, August 4, 2013 @ 7:53 PM

4. Richard Claypole wrote:
Thank you very much for allowing me and some of my co-workers to participate and "make it count" ! We drove over from Independence and I was really taken back by the turn out of veterans and civilians alike. As we stood waiting for the race to start and watched the CH-47 fly overhead, it reminded me yet again of all the things I am blessed with and able to do because of the sacrifices of my brothers and sisters in arms. I have spent most of my adult life wearing the uniform and will continue to do so for great people like you and your entire network. While I will have PCS'ed before the run next year, I will do everything I can to come back and run again.
God Bless each and every one of you !!

Mon, August 5, 2013 @ 8:28 PM

Add a New Comment


Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.

RSS Feed